WASHINGTON D.C. – After 34 years in the senate, Senator Carl Levin said it was an extremely difficult decision to step away.
Especially at a time when he believes the country is at a crossroads when it comes to our economic health and security.
Levin said he’ll spend his remaining time in office focused on those issues, instead of worrying about a re-election campaign.
“I knew that he was thinking about making this his last term,” Senator Debbie Stabenow said.
However, Stabenow said she hoped her senate colleague of twelve years would run again.
“He`s been a great role model and friend for me and someone that I could share ideas with,” she said.
“We`re very much in sync, in caring about our auto industry and caring about jobs and fighting for the Great Lakes,” Stabenow added.
FOX 17 also spoke with former republican Congressman Pete Hoekstra. He also reflected on his time in Washington D.C. along the long-time senator.
“Working with Carl when I was in the House of Representatives, when it came to issues of Michigan, you could always find a friend in Carl Levin,” Hoekstra said.
“Whether it was talking about saving and preserving the Great Lakes, whether it was about prison industries, whether it was about dredging or agriculture. Carl Levin, Car Levin always focused on what was good for Michigan,” he added.
Once Levin’s term is up, both Stabenow and Hoekstra expect a very competitive election for that open seat.
“I have to say that I really feel confident that we’ll have a strong candidate and be able to hold it in democratic hands, but I think it’s gonna be competitive race as it should be,” Stabenow said.
Hoekstra said, “It will really now be about individual candidates going out and making their case to the people of Michigan as to why they should hold this senate seat.”
“Folks are just going to step back. They’re going to assess and see exactly where they think 2014 may go and whether there’s a place for them in that process,” he added.
Candidates may already be lining up. In February, the National Review reported that if Levin didn’t run again, Congressman Justin Amash might consider campaigning for the open seat.
President Barack Obama released this statement on Levin saying, in part:
“No one has worked harder to bring manufacturing jobs back to our shores… Close unfair tax loopholes… And ensure that everyone plays by the same set of rules. ”
“As Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator levin is a true champion for all those who serve… And his tireless work will be missed, not just in his home state of michigan, but by military families across our country.”
In a statement, Governor Rick Snyder said:
“For more than 30 years, Carl Levin has been a thoughtful, compassionate voice in Washington. He effectively brought the needs and concerns of Michiganders to the halls of the Capitol. His service on behalf of Michigan and America is commendable. On behalf of our entire state, I applaud Sen. Levin for his dedication and wish him a healthy, fulfilling retirement.”